I've been a little out there lately. Mostly late at night, when "the candy-colored clown they call the Sandman" whispers in my ears to inform me of the evening's entertainment to be displayed in the oneiromantic playground of my dreams. I have a couple events to blame it on, as two of my best friends have suffered calamities recently, one was struck by a hit and run driver (thankfully, she survived with relatively minor injuries, but if you are reading this and were behind the wheel, please do the right thing and come forward with your culpability). And the other situation involved a beloved 17-plus-year-old cat being put down due to a sharp decline in health, and those of us assembled ugly-crying in a parking lot as a magnificent winter sunset blew up the sky with the mad eloquence of Creation.
So, I've tasted some of the rich honey of human drama and my dreams are accordingly, well, dramatic. I can process quite a lot of life's windfalls, but seeing my friends hurt is something that cuts to the bone, and powerfully informs the angle of my dreams. Struggle, violence and loss have been flashing around in the interior pinball landscape of my sleeping brain for the last month, striking hot, bright-lit notes with intrusive regularity. I know I have to just go through this and roll with it, in much the same way that I have learned certain other truths, like, "Birdwatching is an inevitable pastime as one gets older," "Sunbathing is far worse for you than most drugs," and "There's absolutely no way that I could ever date an earnest sociology major again." Life is nothing if not a process of discernment.
Long story short, we're still in hibernation season, and this is an excellent time for dreaming, whether you are in a gentle reverie or working out some tough, psychic constipation. And live music (yes, of course I was always going to bring it back there), is one of the finest nectars to feed the sleeping beast. Go get some.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers are a Los Angeles-based, Indiana-born band that plays loud, modern psychedelic rock that sounds like an updated version of Roky Erickson and his seminal 13th Floor Elevators band. The group has even opened for ZZ Top, which totally tracks with the style of music. Tonight's show at the Miniplex will be a more intimate affair than an arena rock show but I would still anticipate some large-form theatricality. DJ Red will be spinning records in the barroom and opening duties will be done by Seattle's Monsterwatch at 8 p.m. ($20, $15 advance).
How about a night of local rock bands to assuage whatever fears you might have been experiencing about a dearth of regional weirdos making the good noises with loud guitars and drums? Here's your taste, whether asked for or otherwise. At 8 p.m. Blondies hosts Heart Eyes, Wyld Banshee Whispers and Pills 4 Thrills. Having only seen the last band live, I can't tell you exactly what to expect, other than Victor and company have rocked the house with excellence every time I've been in the crowd. No idea what the cover is or if there even is one, but Blondies often has a band collection-type of deal, so bring some nuggets of currency.
Local metal mavens Greybush are filming a music video at RampArt skatepark starting at 5 p.m. It's $12 to get in, $5 if you are participating in the shoot, and a deal either way, as this will be another skatepark manifest, featuring War Möth, Flub, Bloodspire and Wastewalker. Having gone to last weekend's heavy shindig at the ramps, I can heartily endorse this one.
There's a very fun one happening over at the Siren's Song Tavern tonight. Portland's Sweet N' Juicy is a trio of funk musicians who dress up like fruit and play danceable, light-hearted jams, the humor of which often belies the casually sharp musicianship on display. Joining in the fiesta is Icarus & Suns, one of my favorite local acts by a wide mile. Eights are your lucky number tonight, as in "time of show and dollars needed to get in the door."
This could be another quiet Monday, were it not for our local internet radio station Humboldt Hot Air, which is hosting a Black Humboldt event at 5 p.m. tonight and every Monday in February. Black Liberation Month Radio Takeover is the name of the game and you'll just have to tune in at humboldthotair.org to see what it's all about.
Ah, Tuesdays are notoriously slow this time of year as well. However, you can still grab an instrument and roll over to the Siren's Song Tavern at 8 p.m. to join in on the weekly open jam. Fair warning: The scene is fairly Grateful Dead-ish, so if that isn't your thing, perhaps go check out the free trivia night at Savage Henry's Comedy Club starting at 6 p.m.
It's sci-fi night over at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, and tonight's film is an absolute epic from an era that not only doesn't exist anymore, it might have never been around in the first place. Permit me to explain. Flash Gordon was a comic from the 1930s surrounding the space adventures of a polo player from Earth who is kidnapped and transported to the planet Mongo. The comic was turned into a huge, Dino De Laurentiis production in 1980 with the bright, 1960s colors of his previous space comic film Barbarella, a soundtrack by Queen, and a goofy and campy element that was completely alien to filmgoers at the time, who were just getting used to cutting edge sci-fi, like, well, Alien. The end result is a cult classic film completely of its own kind. Roll through at 6 p.m. to see what I mean. A $5 bill will get you in the door and $9 will get you the same, plus a movie poster.
Collin Yeo (he/him) has dug through the ditches and burned through the witches but has yet to slam in the back of his Dragula. He lives in Arcata.